Food & Wine Pairing Tips

Food & Wine Pairing Tips

Having fun, and experimenting is the ultimate secret to creating a magical food and wine pairing experience.

Perfect BBQ & Wine Pairings:

BBQ Chicken: Spicy Zinfandel or an off-dry Riesling will complement all the flavors in the sauce.

Grilled Chicken: A crisp Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc is the way to go.

Grilled Steaks: Cabernet is a classic match. A full-bodied red blend is a great choice too.

Portabella Mushroom Burgers: Juicy Syrah will show off this veggie favorite.

Grilled Salmon or Tuna: Pair these rich fish with a Pinot Noir.

BBQ Pork Ribs: Rich Syrah or fruity Zinfandel will stand up to the meaty goodness.

Bacon Cheese Burgers: Zinfandel or a rich Merlot will make this favorite a standout.

Grilled Lobsters: Buttery Chardonnay adds to the lusciousness

Something Fishy?

There are many fish in the sea, lakes and rivers. The old rule that “white wine pairs with fish” does work in many cases. It is hard to go wrong pairing lighter fish with crisp, citrusy Sauvignon Blanc that adds zing like a squeeze of lemon does. But we also recommend you try pairing heavier fish with food-friendly red wines including a well aged Cabernet, Pinot Noir or a Nebbiolo for a new wine pairing experience. And a dry Rosé is an amazing wine pairing with a sardine pasta dish.Lean, flaky, mild-flavored fish such as sea bass, flounder, sole and Tilapia: Light calls for light–pair these fish with light, crisp white wines including Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Grigio, Albariño, Sauvignon Blanc or unoaked Chardonnay.

Medium textured, flaky-but-firm fish including trout, red snapper, grouper, cod, or halibut: These are delightful when paired with wines with a bit more oomph, like oaked Chardonnay, dry Chenin Blanc, finely aged Cabernet Sauvignon, or Pinot Noir.Meaty fish including salmon, swordfish and tuna: These hearty fish pair perfectly with wines with a a medium body, such as Viognier, Pinot Noir or an oaked Chardonnay.Strongly flavored fish like anchovies, sardines, herring and mackerel: These intense fish need wines that cut through the richness.Reach for Sparkling wine, dry Rosé, Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo, or a dry Riesling.

See perfect wine and fish pairings in this handy chart.

Favorite Wine and Snack Combinations:

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Wine With Mexican Food:

It’s fun to start the meal with chips and salsa and Champagne or Sparkling Wine. Our go-to red wine for pairing with Mexican food is Pinot Noir or a lighter red blend. If you prefer a heavier red, or are enjoying a beef dish, try a Tempranillo. Verde sauces and chicken or fish dishes work well with Sauvignon Blanc or a bone-dry Rosé If the meal is very spicy, go with a sweeter wine like a Riesling, Gewürztraminer or Rosé.

Peanuts, Pretzels & regular Potato Chips:

A crisp, light white wine like an un-oaked Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio will match up well to the salt.

BBQ Potato Chips:

A red Zinfandel makes a lively combination!

 

Tortilla chips with salsa:

Skip the beer or margarita and instead reach for a tart Reisling, Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc!

Red grapes:

A delicious twist with Viognier.

Popcorn:

Enjoy a bowlful with a lightly oaked Chardonnay or Champagne.

French Fries:

Nearly anything goes! The subtle flavor of the potato does well with Merlot and Pinot Noir, and the salt and oil match nicely to light and crisp white wines like Pinot Grigio.

Apples and Cheese:

Easy to find a wine pairing favorite if you remember this: hard, flavorful cheeses need a darker, heavier wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon and lighter cheeses need a nice light white like Pinot Grigio, Riesling. Apples like a Fuji or Delicious are well, just delicious!

Hummus:

A healthy snack deserving of a light red, like Pinot or Sangiovese.

Twinkies:

Sweet foods need sweet wines, try a German Reisling or Muscat.

 

Ice cream:

Try a late-harvest wine, or fruit infused dessert wine… pour right over the top!

 

Cookies:

Chocolate Chip cookies need a Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon, Oatmeal and Raisin cookies are yummy with either a Pinot Noir or Viognier. Gingersnaps are great fun with a peppery Zinfandel.

 

Carrots and Celery with Ranch dip:

Enjoy the crunch and tang alongside a glass of Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay.

Beef Hamburgers:

Try any of these: Syrah, Cabernet, Zinfandel or Cabernet Franc. The juices from a burger will cut through the tannins of a bigger red wine.

Pepperoni Pizza:

Tangy pizza sauce and spicy Pepperoni go great with Zinfandel. A Friday-night must!

White chocolate:

Champagne. The finer, the better!

Dark chocolate:

Buy the most luxurious dark chocolate that you can find, and pair it with a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah or Malbec. Heaven.

 

So reach for a glass of wine with your favorite snack and reap the rewards of wine’s health benefits, plus create a taste sensation. For more food and wine pairing tips, check out our recipes page . We share mouth-watering recipes that we have received from artisan wineries plus wines that make delectable matches.

 

We have five club levels to choose from. Something for every taste and budget . Each month we hand-select award-winning wines and ship these direct to wine club members along with Uncorked, our beautiful guide to the winery. Uncorked includes details and tasting notes on the wines, wine tips, wine pairing tips and insight to California’s wine scene.

 

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